Title 21
Food and Drugs

Chapter 28.6
The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 21-28.6-8

§ 21-28.6-8. Affirmative defense and dismissal.

(a) Except as provided in § 21-28.6-7, a qualifying patient may assert the medical purpose for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana, and the defense shall be presumed valid where the evidence shows that:

(1) The qualifying patient’s practitioner has stated that, in the practitioner’s professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the person’s medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship, the potential benefits of using marijuana for medical purposes would likely outweigh the health risks for the qualifying patient; and

(2) The qualifying patient was compliant with this chapter and all regulations promulgated hereunder and in possession of a quantity of marijuana that was not more than what is permitted under this chapter to ensure the uninterrupted availability of marijuana for the purpose of alleviating the person’s medical condition or symptoms associated with the medical condition.

(b) A person may assert the medical purpose for using marijuana in a motion to dismiss, and the charges shall be dismissed following an evidentiary hearing where the defendant shows the elements listed in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Any interest in, or right to, property that was possessed, owned, or used in connection with a qualifying patient’s use of marijuana for medical purposes shall not be forfeited if the qualifying patient demonstrates the qualifying patient’s medical purpose for using marijuana pursuant to this section.

History of Section.
P.L. 2005, ch. 442, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 443, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 72, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 495, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 515, § 2; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 15, § 5.